Renegade Craft Fair 2011 | Fair report + photo gallery


View the Slide Show of the Renegade Craft Fair

What's good for the consumer isn't always good for businesses. Case in point: This past weekend's Renegade Craft Fair. Recalling the mobs of years past, I ventured to that stretch of Wicker Park with trepidation (and lots of whining). But what I saw when I arrived was a surprisingly manageable crowd. And so I swerved my way through it, popping in and out of booths speedily, never bumping into a single person, and never having to huff loudly at a dude hogging, say, a crate of felt LP covers. But what appeared blissfully "manageable" to me was more like maliciously slow to the vendors. A woman I work with at TOC was manning one booth, and she seemed downright bored. "How's business?" I said. She just replied with an "eh." Is the demand for screen-printed band posters, plush-toy penises and unicorn stationary waning? Is Renegade Craft Fair's moment over? It may just be an issue of supply and demand—or more to the point, the novelty of the event. After all, there's another edition of the Renegade Craft Fair happening this weekend. [There is, a three-day fair at Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusement—Ed.]

Renegade Craft Fair responded to our report on Wed 13 indicating that the fair was a success for vendors. We've posted the text after the jump.

Hi David,

Thank you so much for coming to the Renegade Craft Fair Chicago. I'm glad that, despite your trepidation, you managed to make it and speak to a vendor or two. I am surprised at your assessment of the crowds and the vendor reaction to this year's fair, though. Our attendance tracking shows that over 50,000 people attended the fair over the weekend, and our inbox was (and continues to be) full of emails from vendors saying that this was their best show to date. We heard time and time again from vendors that they made more on Saturday than they had in any other two-day sale. I know it's hard to get a representative sample when you're just walking through the fair, and any given fair is bound to be busy for some vendors and less busy for others, but I think to say that "sales were slow" last weekend isn't altogether true (I even noticed that some folks on Twitter replied to your tweet with something to that effect). Thank you again for attending the fair and reporting on it, and thanks to Time Out for being a sponsor of the fair. 

Sarah Spies

Media & Marketing Liaison  

Renegade Craft Fair


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